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White Flag Award Winners 2018

20 November, 2017

Important role of the active leisure sector in raising standards and providing physical activity opportunities highlighted at Ireland Active Annual Conference & White Flag Award Ceremony

Full Press Release and Award Winners available by clicking here

Four time All Star, former All-Ireland Camogie winning Captain and Ireland Active Ambassador, Anna Geary was joined by Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, John Paul Phelan at Ireland Active’s National Conference held in Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny to recognise the five category winners of Ireland Active’s Annual White Flag Awards.

The White Flag Scheme, is the most sought after accolade in the leisure and fitness industry, and is awarded to facilities that meet the operational standards for leisure and fitness facilities as set out in the scheme. The standard is designed to encourage continuous improvement within the sector and recognises facilities for their remarkable standards in the areas of safety, hygiene, customer service and human resources.

The White Flag Awards are the only industry specific award for the leisure, health and fitness sector in Ireland. There is an Accessibility Award for centres that excel at making their facilities accessible for people with a disability. 90 leisure, fitness and hotel facilities were awarded White Flags with four facilities receiving special recognition as category winners as well as the Industry Supplier of the Year and Staff Person of the Year.

The overall winners were:

·         Shoreline Leisure in Greystones- Leisure Centre of the Year

·         Ardilaun Leisure Club, Galway- Hotel Leisure Club of the Year

·         WIT Arena, Waterford- Fitness Facility of the Year

·         Leisureland, Galway- Accessible Facility of the Year

·         Aqualine- Industry Supplier of the Year

·         Dermot Gaynor- Staff Person of the Year

The White Flag Awards are the showpiece of Ireland Active’s Annual Conference which is designed to highlight the important role that the leisure, health and fitness industry play in providing physical activity opportunities. The gym remains the favoured location to get active in Ireland with 490,000 Irish adults being members of gyms and 13.7% of all Irish adults going to the gym each week up from 7% in 2007.

With a further 230,000 Irish adults swimming each week, Ireland Active’s members are made up of more than 250 leisure, health and fitness centres nationwide and have a key role to play in contributing to making Ireland more physically active. Irish adults need a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week just to maintain health and wellbeing.

Speakers at the annual conference included health and fitness industry experts, David Minton, DCU’s Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Physiology, Dr. Brendan Egan, Fitness Entrepreneur and CEO My Zone, Dave Wright, Director of Programmes from Europe Active, Cliff Collins as well as personal trainer, Karl Henry.

Speaking at the conference, Minister John Paul Phelan said:

“I am delighted to open the Ireland Active Conference this year. It is fantastic to see so many industry professionals coming together and sharing their knowledge and industry insights. Leading an active healthy lifestyle has such a massive impact on both our physical and mental health, as well as our overall wellbeing. Congratulations to all of the award winners and participants who are helping to facilitate a healthier Ireland with their top-class establishments as well as making a significant contribution to local economies right around Ireland.”

Conn McCluskey, CEO of Ireland Active said; 

“The leisure, health and fitness industry has an important role to play in Irish society both in terms of providing physical activity opportunities for people right around Ireland but also as a significant contributor and employer in those communities. We are really proud of the standard of the facilities of our members and it is fantastic to get the opportunity to bring the industry together and reward those who have stood out in terms of service delivery to customers and staff. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on their achievement and on the vital role they play in ensuring more Irish people become more active more often.

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